House & Garden, Cavendish Square Feature

Scandinavian design gallery Modernity pops up in a Palladian-style mansion

The 20th-century design gallery has opened a pop-up in a Palladian-style mansion in Central London

March, 2020

Visitors to the art and design show Masterpiece and PAD London will be familiar with the Swedish gallery Modernity, which specialises in twentieth-century Scandinavian design. They will also be glad to know that it has found a temporary home in London. We certainly are.

And what a home it is. Built in 1770, 14 Cavendish Square is a 10,000 square ft Grade II listed Palladian-style house. The building's current owners have plans for a major restoration, devised under the guidance of Historic English Heritage and with Walker Bushe Architects and the architect William Smalley.

In the meantime, Modernity’s best-of-its kind furniture, lighting, ceramics and textiles will be on display with gallery-like spareness throughout. The setting - two floors of grand, light-filled rooms and a top-lit floor above - is stripped back and raw: an incredible backdrop for Modernity’s pieces. “The fact that the house is beautiful, a kind of fallen beauty, creates an interesting contrast between the rough interior and our beautiful vintage furniture”. says Andrew Duncanson, founder and co-owner of Modernity. It's a very different setting from the sleek art fair atmosphere in which Modernity usually exhibits, and a space well worth seeing before it takes on its new life.

By appointment only (email |